Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Political Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Alice H. Cooper

Second Advisor

Laura R. Johnson

Third Advisor

Gang Guo

Relational Format



This dissertation explores the role of schools, families, and other-group contact on ethnic saliency and student attitudes towards outside groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) via statistical analysis. It was found that families, via familial example, have a statistically significant (p < 0.001) effect on increasing tolerance towards outside groups, and schools tend to play a secondary role due to a high degree of ethnic homogeneity within secondary schools. Frequency of religious service attendance also plays a statistically significant role in increasing ethnic saliency. Another significant finding is that a majority of high school seniors are not opposed to socializing outside of their own respective ethno-national groups. This dissertation finds that a coupling and de-coupling of ethno-national identity and religion are currently taking place in BiH; among Bosniaks and Croats they are coupled, whereas among Serbs and self-identifying Bosnians they are de-coupled. Data was gathered via field surveys taken by high school seniors from 78 high schools in 53 cities and towns located across the country.



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